Fire sprinklers have been the number one way to protect homes and businesses from fire for over 100 years. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the civilian fatality rate is 87 percent lower in buildings with fire sprinklers compared to properties with no automatic extinguishing systems (AES). Property damage rates also plummet by 65 percent or more in buildings with sprinkler systems compared to those without them.
Despite their incredible life-saving, property-preserving characteristics, fire sprinklers were present in only 10 percent of reported structure fires between 2010 and 2014. Why is this?
Cost is a major prohibitive factor in retrofitting a building with fire sprinklers. After all, the NFPA estimates the cost of an average fire sprinkler system to be $1.35 per sprinklered square foot. That’s about $6,000 for a small 4,500-square-foot building.
Thankfully, the federal government has established new tax incentives for small business owners, making it more affordable to install fire sprinklers in existing buildings.
To learn more, continue reading or contact Kauffman Co. in Houston, TX.
The government is making it easier than ever to install fire sprinklers to protect your business, investment, and the lives of your customers and employees.
The new tax incentive—as explained in Section 179 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—allows small business owners to deduct the cost of installing fire sprinklers in an existing building up to $1 million for each year of the expense. New installations, retrofits, and upgrades all qualify for the incentive, as do interest payments from any loans that business owners take out to cover the cost.
Deaths in building fires have a long and tragic history. In 1903, the Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago, IL claimed over 600 lives. In 1942, the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub fire in Boston, MA killed 500 people. And in 2003, 100 people lost their lives and 230 others were injured in the Station Nightclub fire in West Warwick, RI.
This most recent incident is what spurred talk of a fire sprinkler tax incentive. If fire sprinklers had been present in any of the buildings listed here—or in the countless others that have succumbed to flames over the last century—people would have had more time to escape, and lives would have been saved.
Now, with the ability to claim tax deductions on the installation, retrofit, or upgrade of your fire suppression system, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having the most effective defense against lost life and property damage in a fire.
If you own a property with high fire risks—such as a nightclub, restaurant, entertainment venue, retail outlet, or another place of assembly—now you have no excuse for not installing fire sprinklers! Hire Kauffman Co. to perform the retrofit, and deduct the cost from your taxable earnings. Your building will be safer and more marketable as a result, and thanks to the new tax incentives, the upgrade will have a smaller impact on your bottom line.
For more information about the tax incentives for small business owners, or to schedule fire sprinkler retrofitting in the Houston area, please contact Kauffman Co. today by calling (713) 893-1090.
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